Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Connect Sentences

One of the primary marks of a good writer is the ability to connect sentences properly. A stream of short, choppy sentences makes for a boring read, whereas long sentences strung together can be tedious or even confusing for the reader. In this article, we’ll discuss how to connect sentences in a way that is not only grammatically correct but also stylistically effective.

How to Connect Sentences Using Transition Words

One of the easiest and most effective ways to connect sentences is by using transition words.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Do you know the difference between formal and informal writing?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

6 Endangered Words

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, endangered animal species are “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of [their] range.” Applying the same principle to words, endangered words are used less and less until almost no one knows them anymore. Are your favorite words in danger of extinction?

Ambrosial derives from ambrosia, the mythological food of the goods.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bad Writing: What it Means for Your Career (INFOGRAPHIC)

Is poor writing an indicator that you will be less successful in your career?

Kyle Wiens, CEO at iFixit, suggested as much in a July 20, 2012 article (“I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”) which appeared in Harvard Business Review’s blog network.

Yesterday, in honor of National Grammar Day, Harvard Business Review posted another article (“Grammar Should Be Everyone’s Business”) written by Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Q&A with Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network, the creator of of the Grammar Girl website (one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2012, 2013, and 2014), and the creator and host of the Grammar Girl podcast (Best Education Podcast in the 2012 and 2013 Podcast Awards). 

The Grammarly team recently chatted with Mignon about grammar, language, and National Grammar Day (March 4).

8 Embarrassing (Yet Common) Malapropisms

You may or may not have heard of these funny little things: malapropisms. A malapropism is the misuse of a word that creates a ridiculous sentence, usually as a result of confusing similar-sounding words. This can create embarrassing situations for people, especially during public speeches. To get a better idea of how malapropisms work, check out some of the examples below.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

5 Grammar Pet Peeves

Every grammarian has a list of grammar pet peeves. We compile new lists every year. However, some errors are insidiously persistent. Like coffee stains on a snow-white rug, we cannot seem to scrub them away no matter how hard we try. But we must keep up the fight.

Join us as we again leap into the fray against our arch-nemesis: the most-common-glaring-grammar-errors-of-all-time.

Your/You’re: This one has a longer lifespan than Dracula.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spoken Language Rules Work In Signed Communication, Too

Language is language, regardless of the way you communicate. A new study by Psychology and Linguistics Professor Iris Berent at Northeastern University demonstrates that similar structures rule communication, and whether communication is via speech or sign is of secondary importance.

Basically, people adhere to certain patterns for what’s permissible in language and reject structures that “seem wrong.” By observing that research subjects with no knowledge of sign language mapped the rules of spoken language onto signs they were shown, researchers learned that ingrained rules play a bigger role than previously thought.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grammar Madness: The Battle to Determine the Most Maddening Writing Error

Since the dawn of writing, grammarians have been irked by sloppy and erroneous written communication. But over the past few years, it’s gotten increasingly difficult to go even a single day without seeing several writing errors. From street signs to Facebook status updates, unfortunate writing mistakes are omnipresent in both the real world and the virtual.

Over the next few weeks, the Grammarly team will use social media to determine the most detestable of all writing errors.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

6 Unique Ways to Say “Sorry” When You Make a Mistake

What do you say when you make a mistake? If you use sorry often, the expression may lose a little of its power. Here are six other words for saying sorry.

1. My Apologies

My apologies is another word for “I’m sorry.” It’s rather formal, so it’s fine for business contexts. Commonly, people use it to decline an invitation or express regret at not being able to fulfill a request. However, it may be perceived as sarcastic in casual settings, so choose carefully when and with whom to use it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Write a Resignation Letter and Exit in Style

When it comes to making big shifts in the direction of your life, changing jobs ranks right up there among the most significant. You’ll be leaving behind familiar faces, tasks, and roles to sail into unknown waters. It’s energizing and daunting at the same time!

Once you’ve made the decision to leave your job, you’re faced with the challenge of leaving on good terms. How you tender your resignation letter can mean the difference between building a network of positive connections and burning bridges.

What are we grateful for? Commas.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Grammarly team polled more than 1,700 Facebook fans on what piece of punctuation they are most “thankful” for in their writing.

The semi-colon, em-dash, and period, were top contenders; yet, overwhelmingly we learned that English writers are most thankful for the comma.

Although writers enjoy the comma, many do not know how to use it. Misuse of commas is among the top grammar mistakes that writers around the world are making, according to a recent audit of English writers conducted by the Grammarly team.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grammarly Announces Add-in for Microsoft Office Suite

Today, the Grammarly team officially announced the availability of its Grammarly® Add-in for Microsoft® Office Suite. The add-in combines the power of Grammarly’s automated proofreading technology with Microsoft® Office Word and Microsoft® Office Outlook®.

In addition to checking for more than 250 common grammar errors and enhancing vocabulary usage, the Grammarly add-in offers unique features such as citation suggestions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Dark Side of Mother Goose

Murder, torture, mass death by plague…not exactly the stuff of children’s literature, right? Actually, if you read the rhymes of Mother Goose, it is. Most people don’t realize the macabre history of these innocuous-sounding rhymes, but dig beneath the surface, and you’ll find Mother Goose poetry is chock-full of gruesome imagery.

In fact, many of today’s nursery rhymes are sanitized versions of the grim originals.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Use These Four Tips to Improve Your Writing Fast

Guest post by Meryl K. Evans

The valet pulled up in my car. I thanked him, tipped him and entered my car. I noticed both turn signals were blinking. What’s up? It took me a minute to realize the valet had turned on the hazard lights. I didn’t even remember if I had ever used them in this car.

I touched every switch, button and stick searching for the toggle. Sure, I could dig for the instruction manual in the glove compartment, but I didn’t want to hold up the folks behind me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What Are Possessive Nouns?

A possessive noun is a noun that possesses something—i.e., it has something. In most cases, a possessive noun is formed by adding an apostrophe +s to the noun, or if the noun is plural and already ends in s, only an apostrophe needs to be added. In the following sentence, boy’s is a possessive noun modifying pencil: The boy’s pencil snapped in half. It is clear that the pencil belongs to the boy; the ’s signifies ownership.